Pregnant tigress rescued in Bengal

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Kolkata, Feb 18 (UNI) Ending high drama, West Bengal Forest officials today rescued a pregnant tigress, which had climbed a tree after straying into a village at Deulbari in South Twentyfour Parganas district in the Sunderbans area.

Four villagers received minor injuries when they helped Forest department officials catch the animal.

One of them was taken to hospital.

''The tigress is now under observation and experts are examining her health. The tigress came out of the forest late Sunday night in search of a safe place as she is pregnant,'' West Bengal Sundarbans Affairs Minister Kanti Ganguly said.

The forest officials and police shot the tigress, which had climbed a date palm tree, with tranquilliser guns.

However, the forest officials had a taxing time for about 14 hours as the tigress continued to elude them and the local people, armed with sticks and other weapons, swarmed the area.

West Bengal Principal Chief Conservator of forest Atanu Raha said the tigress was successfully caught and released in the forest.

According to forest officials, there are 249 tigers in the Sundarbans Tiger Reserve and 279 in greater Sundarbans.

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